Virginia First Lady Pam Northam was accused of singling out black students and handing them cotton during a tour of the governor’s mansion!
Almost a month after her husband, Ralph Northam, was slammed after admitting to wearing blackface when his yearbook photos resurfaced, his wife is now in the hot seat! Last week, the couple hosted around 100 students, who worked as pages in the last Senate session, for a tour of their home, per the Washington Post. Northam led the tour, which is usually done by the docents, and asked 20 to describe slaves who picked cotton and tobacco she was holding.
“Mrs. Northam then asked these three pages (the only African American pages in the program) if they could imagine what it must have been like to pick cotton all day,” Leah Dozier Walker, who oversees the Office of Equity and Community Engagement at the state Education Department, wrote in a letter to lawmakers, acquired by the Post.
“I can not for the life of me understand why the first lady would single out the African American pages for this — or — why she would ask them such an insensitive question.”
“I will give you the benefit of the doubt, because you gave it to some other pages,” she wrote. “But you followed this up by asking: ‘Can you imagine being an enslaved person, and having to pick this all day?’, which didn’t help the damage you had done.”
“As first lady, I have worked over the course of the last year to begin telling the full story of the Executive Mansion, which has mainly centered on Virginia’s governors,” she wrote.